Theresa May officially steps down as Tory leader

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"She remains prime minister for a good few weeks yet", May's spokesman insisted, noting that any successor must meet Queen Elizabeth II and assure the head of state that they have the support of enough lawmakers to take over.

Theresa May has handed in her formal resignation to the Conservative Party.

The party have eaten into the ruling Conservative party's vote share, with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May's party trailing on just 18 percent.

Ever since Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, the other 27 nations in the bloc have presented a united front in negotiations, finally agreeing late previous year to a detailed divorce plan with May's government.

A large field of contestants have come forward to battle for the position.

It quickly put May on a collision course with politicians in the Parliament on what kind of Brexit to pursue.

The contest should be completed in the week commencing July 22.

A deal May brokered after intensive negotiations with Brussels spectacularly crashed in the House of Commons when it was defeated by a margin of 230, the biggest ever rejection in British political history.

The contest to replace her has been heating up for weeks, with candidates arguing over the rights and wrongs of a so-called no-deal Brexit, or leaving the European Union without a deal.

Labour hailed a slim victory by Lisa Forbes, who won 10,484 votes, beating the bookmakers' favourite, the Brexit Party, into second with 9,801 votes.

It could well be that if that doesn't happen; the Brexit Party will actually continue the success it's been having, and could actually take over the mantle of Conservativism in the UK.

Official nominations will be received on Monday. The final list will be announced around 5 p.m.(1600 GMT) on the day. 11 candidates have announced their intention to stand in the contest, including Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart. The first phase will see party MPs vote in several rounds from next week until the candidates are whittled down to two.

Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage speaks as he and newly elected Members of the European Parliament from Brexit Party attend a news conference following the results of the European Parliament elections, in London, Britain, May 27, 2019.

Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

May formally relinquished her leadership in the private letter to her party on Friday. His new party stormed to the top place in the recent European Parliament elections.

Farage's Brexit Party came close to winning its first seat in Parliament on Friday, narrowly losing to Labour in a special election in the eastern England city of Peterborough.

She is stepping down amid a growing dispute with Chancellor Philip Hammond over her plans to leave with a series of big spending announcements, including a multibillion-pound overhaul of England's schools and colleges, according to the Financial Times.

"The Rt Hon Theresa May will remain as acting leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party until her successor has been announced".

The Conservatives weren't the runners-up in a constituency they have only lost control of three times since 1880. "I look back and I think I wish I hadn't done that", he said.

Hardline Brexiteers view it as a mechanism to prevent MPs voting to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

"We focus on the substance not the personalities", he said.

Whether it is Johnson, Hunt or one of the other contenders, political experts view Brexit as a poisoned chalice.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called said that the result "shows that despite the divisions and deadlock over Brexit, when it comes to a vote on the issues that directly affect people's lives, Labour's case for real change has strong support across the country".

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